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Sam Gorman – the Young Change-maker

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How would you introduce yourself in two sentences to a complete stranger?

I’m Sam Gorman, a sixteen year old high school student interested in making a difference in this world. As the founder of social justice organization Youngchange-Bestchange, I hope to share my opinions on global issues and inspire others to do the same.

What is Youngchange-Bestchange? What was your motive behind starting this organisation?

Youngchange-Bestchange (YCBC) is a blog and organization dedicated to empowering youth around the world towards social change. I believe that teenagers and young adults have the potential to change the world, but unfortunately many of them have been told since they were children that they have no power to make a difference, and that their voice is meaningless. Put simply, I want to change that. Wherever someone may live, I want them to be able to go to our site and feel like they’re part of a larger movement, a movement that is inclusive to them and actively encourages them to facilitate change in their respective communities.

There are many youth-activist groups in the scene. How is Youngchange-Bestchange different?

I think the main, and probably the most important factor, that distinguishes Youngchange-Bestchange from other organizations is that YCBC is and always will be run by youth. Some organizations may claim that they have teenagers’ best interests in mind, yet their staff may be out of touch with what the youth of today actually need. Being relatable is a unique aspect I’d like to think we bring to the table, and that’s a value I’d like to continue to cultivate through the articles we post and the way we present the site to our audience.

What progress has your organisation made since its inception?

Having started with only two hundred views in our first month, we’ve improved our monthly viewership more than nine times over in the past seven months and hope to build upon the 77 countries where Youngchange-Bestchange’s articles have already been viewed. Our work on education reform has also gained critical acclaim from educational visionaries such as Nikhil Goyal, who recently published his book, “Schools on trial: How Freedom and Creativity Can Fix Our Educational Malpractice.”

Sam shaking hands with Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally renown advisor on education
Sam shaking hands with Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally renown advisor on education

Many of your website’s articles focus on issues pertinent to high-school students. Throw light on one particular issue and tell us how we can solve it.

One issue I’ve been trying to address recently has been education reform, and how the current educational model prevalent in the US and much of Europe simply isn’t doing enough for students. In a system that emphasizes memorization and obedience over creativity, countless teenagers are being robbed of the quality education they deserve. This issue doesn’t have a one-size-fits- all solution, but a crucial part of changing this system is first recognizing that we do have a problem and then hosting intelligent discussions on how to change it. A great solution for those who live in the United States is to opt out of Common Core testing or to petition local administrators for more freedoms.

Where do you see your organisation in 5 years?

We have a lot of big plans for the future, but a large priority of mine is to continue to expand our viewership base among young adults and help them realize that change is much more accessible than they may think. I’d also like to work on getting more contributors in different parts of the world to write articles on the site and offer their perspectives on the crucial issues of our time.

How can someone be involved with Youngchange-Bestchange?

I would encourage you to check out our website at youngchangebestchange.org and discover the many resources we have available to youth.

You can also join the community by liking us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/youngchangebestchange

Or by following us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ycbestchange

Finally, anyone interested in writing for the site can send an email to youngchangebestchange@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours!